UNDERSTANDING YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
Knowing who to market to
Your target audience is going to be the select group who believes in your product and is willing to buy it. Depending on your product, your audience might be large or small. No, you’re not going to attract every living person on this planet; it’s nearly impossible. But I have a list of questions later on that can help you understand who will be interested in your business and what you have to sell.
Pepsi or Coke?
For each product, there is going to be a different audience. Even for two similar products, there’s something that makes one’s target audience different from the other. Consider Pepsi and Coke. Let’s say a person who has never tried either was sent to the grocery store to pick up some “cola.” Both companies have spent a lot of money in advertising. Pepsi typically focuses on pop culture while Coca Cola wants to appear friendly and regularly referring back to their recognizable bottle design from the early 20th century. Depending on this person that is now standing in the soda isle trying to decide which product to buy, there are factors that will help him make this decision. Is he from the South (US)? He’ll probably buy Coca Cola since soda is referred to as “Coke” there. Was this person watching football and see a pop star in a Pepsi ad? Guess which one he’ll grab. Even the packaging can be a factor. Maybe the person appreciates the iconic red, white, and blue Pepsi logo, or maybe favors the classic script of the Coca Cola logo. Here’s a curveball. Maybe none of these factors help him make the decision. Instead, he looks at the price tag and picks up the generic store brand cola because it’s cheaper. These three products are fairly similar. They’re all a “cola”. Yes, the tastes are different, but before you get there, each company has their own target audience. Obviously they also want to sell more of their own product, but depending on the brand and how the represent themselves to the public, they will attract a certain audience. So you can start to understand why becoming aware of your target audience is important. Understanding who your target audience is will also help you understand different ways to reach them.
Understanding Your Target Audience
Considering your own target audience and being successful in reaching out to them, you need to know a lot about them. To start, you’re most likely going to want to generalize because you want as many people buying your product as possible, but in reality, not everyone is going to be interested. For you to be successful in selling your product, you need to be focusing on the details about your audience and understand how you can interact with them. This way, you start off by creating great personalized experiences for the first handful of people who purchase your product. They will then refer people to purchase your product by word-of-mouth, and as long as you continue providing excellent service, your audience will continue to grow.
Your Target Audience Will Change Over Time
Whether you’re successful in selling your product, or you haven’t been able to make that first sale, refining your target audience over time is going to allow you to be profitable in the future. If you don’t seem to be getting any traction on selling your product, most likely it’s because you’re trying to sell to the wrong people. You need to go back and think what your product is meant for and who it’s going to help. I can assure you, if your product is aimed at helping people, there are people out there that are willing to buy it. Go through the list toward the bottom of this post and you should have a good idea of who to market to. If you are successful, you most likely have a good understanding of your target audience and you should be aware of these people buying your product. Take note of the similarities in them and use this information to communicate with other people that share these similar characteristics. You might even find there are people who you aren’t marketing to, but with an understanding of the people who are buying your product, you can expand your audience by finding these people who share similar traits.
Reaching your target audience
Reaching your target audience is much easier when you understand who it is. You can figure out their hobbies, the places they go, and the way they spend their time. Use this information to help strategically place your product around these areas and attract these people through marketing. Traditional advertising has played a key role in the past hundred years. Just think of Times Square and the number of advertisements you can see in the blink of an eye. You’re immediately exposed to tens, if not hundreds of products and companies in a matter of seconds. Utilizing Content Marketing is a great way to attract your target audience. Provide valuable information for your audience to build their trust and they will inevitably come back and purchase your product. I will cover more on reaching out to your target audience and getting their attention in the next post.
Questions to help you define your target audience
- What is the age range?
- Where are they located?
- What is their income?
- Are they frugal?
- Are they willing to spend an extra dollar for quality?
- What need to they have that your product is solving?
- What are their likes/dislikes?
- Are they single or in a relationship?
- Do they own something that relies on your product or service?
- Home, car, computer, business, smart phone, etc.?
- What is their occupation?
- What are their hobbies?
- Do they have share common life experiences?
- How did they grow up?
- Where do they live?
- When do they work?
- When are they active?
- What do they do with their free time?
Clearly, this isn’t an exhaustive list of questions, but it will get you started on thinking about the people you can market your product to.
Pay attention to who’s buying
There’s a lot to discovering your target audience and that means you probably won’t know every little detail about them starting off. Even as your business grows and you update or create more products, your target audience is going to become more defined as well. But as long as you pay attention to who is buying your product and take notes on them, you’ll be on the right path.